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I have to admit that I am already back to school, and today was not smooth and easy. It wasn't. I forgot that the beginning of the year is just as tiring as the end. Seriously. I almost feel asleep in my dinner, which would have been bad considering I had two pieces of lunchmeat and a fun size bag of M&Ms for lunch. Last lunch is NOT fun.
Stop Trying to be PerfectNow, those of you that have read my blog posts know I really like crafts. I do. However, I want my fellow crafty teachers to stop and say this pledge.
"I, (insert your name here), give myself permission to not be crafty during Back to School time.
I recognize that I have far more important things to do this week, including keeping up with hourly schedule changes and learning the new unit planning system.
I acknowledge that the really cute student gifts are nice but not necessary, and that students would have them lost or destroyed before bedtime on the first day of school anyway.
I understand that students are more worried about meeting their classmates than getting a craft on the first day of school.
I will not neglect my (insert appropriate words here such as family, pets, sleep, etc.) during Back to School in order to make my classroom look like Pinterest."
Did you say it? Did you MEAN it?
I had to totally revise my plans today after I realized that it would take approximately 4 million times longer to collect school supplies than I expected. (Honestly. I moved down a grade. The learning curve is steep.) Half of what I planned to do I didn't get done anyway. It's okay! Part of being a teacher is learning to roll with it.
Plan Now, Craft LaterNow, in order to do those crafty things later on in the year you need to be planned. I mean really planned. I have a framework in mind for where I want my class to be each quarter, and and idea of what activities I want to use regularly to get there. Having a set plan for certain things, like grammar and vocabulary, really helps take the stress away - because I know what I am doing. It also leaves more time for me to plan the more detailed units (and make crafts!)
Vocabulary Lessons for the YearI know many teachers are using Greek and Latin roots now for vocabulary. I have been researching spelling and vocabulary, and honestly spelling just does not transfer well in upper grades. They might spell it on the test, but very few students do in their writing.
Spelling and vocabulary need to be given a dedicated time if you want students to retain what you are teaching. 10 minutes a day is just not going to do it. I read a terrific book this summer called Word Nerds. It has a lot of great ideas for vocabulary.
From my own childhood, I can tell you that using roots stuck with me from 2nd grade. I still remember studying them with Mrs. Blackwell. Knowing those word part meaning has long helped me to understand words I don't know.
In order to help a teacher plan their vocabulary for this year, I am giving away a copy of my Greek and Latin Word Study Bundle. It includes 40 weeks of lesson plans and activities! Each week features 10 words from 1-2 word part families. If you are interested, you can try the first week free!
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Win a $100 TpT Gift Card!Don't forget to enter our giveaway on the Lesson Deli blog for a $100 TpT giftcard! Just keep hopping through to reach it! Both giveaways end at 12:00Am on Monday, August 16th so enter now!
Visit Caitlin at the Room Mom to learn more about getting organized!